Baylor football picked up its 12th commitment of the 2019 signing class, as safety/linebacker Jalen Celestine of Cecilia, La., made his pledge official on Wednesday.
Celestine (6-4, 190) announced his decision on Twitter, saying, “I would like to thank my coaches in believing in my talent and Coach (Matt) Rhule for giving me a chance to play at the next level.”
Baylor was the first Division I offer for Celestine, who has played safety at Cecilia High School but could potentially move to linebacker on the college level.
Ten of Baylor’s 12 commits have come on the defensive side.
Bears picked sixth in Big 12 preseason poll
Baylor was picked sixth in the Big 12 football preseason poll.
Defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma was picked first with 68 votes. Second-place Texas received the remaining nine first-place votes.
Iowa State was picked third, followed by TCU, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Kansas State and Kansas. The last four teams in the poll all have new head coaches.
Coming off last year’s 7-6 finish, the Bears open the season against SFA on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. at McLane Stadium.
Midway center Ndago picks Air Force
Midway offensive lineman Wesley Ndago has had a chance to block for a couple of college-football-bound running backs in his time playing varsity football.
On Wednesday, he joined them in making his college choice known.
Ndago committed to Air Force, picking the Falcons over more than a dozen other FBS offers.
“I’m proud to announce my commitment to furthering my athletic and academic career (at) the United States Air Force Academy!!!” Ndago tweeted.
Ndago helped Midway running back James Fullbright post 1,970 rushing yards as the Panthers reached the Class 6A Division I regional final last fall.
He had a handful of academically prestigious offers from schools including Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell, Dartmouth, Pennsylvania, California and Duke.
Baylor names new equestrian assistant
Abbi Demel has been named the Baylor equestrian program’s assistant western coach.
Demel was an NCEA horsemanship All-American rider for the Bears in 2017-18. Competing in both horsemanship and reining, Demel was part of Baylor’s 2017 and 2019 Big 12 championship teams.
She also helped the horsemanship team advance to the quarterfinals of the NCEA National Championships for two straight seasons.
“Abbi brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the horsemanship side of our program, which I know will continue to drive our team to new heights,” said Baylor equestrian coach Casie Maxwell. “I am looking forward to working with her and having another Baylor graduate enter the coaching ranks.”
Former NFL lineman needs transplant
Former Tennessee Titans All-Pro defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth says on social media that he needs a kidney transplant.
The 38-year-old Haynesworth posted on Instagram that he’s been battling kidney disease for a few years. He shared a photo of himself in a hospital bed and wrote that his kidneys failed him Sunday and he’s looking for a donor.
Haynesworth played 10 seasons in the NFL, including the first seven with the Titans who drafted him No. 15 overall in the 2002 draft out of the University of Tennessee. He also played for Washington, New England and Tampa Bay.
NC State slapped with 4 hoops violations
RALEIGH, N.C. — The NCAA has charged North Carolina State with four violations, accusing a former assistant coach of providing payments and benefits connected to the recruitment of one-and-done basketball player Dennis Smith Jr.
The school said Wednesday that its notice of allegations was received Tuesday, and now has 90 days to respond.
The notice includes four serious charges, with two that are potential top-level charges. The NCAA alleges that from 2014-17, former assistant Orlando Early provided Smith and his associates approximately $46,700 in impermissible inducements and benefits — including $40,000 that a government witness testified he delivered to Early intended for Smith’s family in 2015.
The NCAA also said former coach Mark Gottfried, now coaching at Cal State Northridge, was “presumed responsible” and “did not demonstrate” that he monitored Early for compliance. It also accuses Gottfried of failing to monitor the program’s pass list, leading to a total 164 impermissible complimentary admissions to games.